We have had a great week in the Toddler Room. We have loved adding so many new faces to our classroom – some we know but we hadn’t seen in a long time and some brand new to Bet Shalom. They have added great new energy and fun to our class. Welcome to Eliana, Ellie, Van, Luna and Hannah!
Our focus this week has been establishing routines and modeling behaviors that will help our class routine to flow smoothly – or smooth-ish-ly since we are working with toddlers! 🙂 We read books about the first day of preschool, about being good friends and about calming down when frustrated.
We modeled using our class stuffed mice. They (the stuffed mice) sat at the table and didn’t run around during snack time, they used the words, “My turn next, please” when they wanted a turn with a toy. These are the words we always have the kids use (or we help them use) when they want a turn with a toy. The response is always “yes, in 2 minutes”. The child playing with the toy gets to finish their turn (while we count down with both children to the transition). When the two minutes are up the item needs to be shared. We help this process along, but have found with consistency the children get very good at it. We also worked on walking in the halls as a class. We sing, “Put your finger on the wall, on the wall. Put your finger on the wall, on the wall. Put your finger on the wall when you are walking in the hall. Put your finger on the wall, on the wall.” This minimizes the chance of the children running in different directions rather than staying together as a class. They also look super cute when they are doing it.
We read Little Monkey Calms Down (along with MANY other books). It’s a lovely book about a monkey who feels sad and mad and angry. He uses a variety of strategies to calm himself down. After reading the book the toddlers painted pictures of little mice which are being used to decorate our Little Mouse Calmdown House. When the kids just want a calm moment or are having big feelings they are encouraged to take some time in this space to center themselves. It’s an optional choice, but in the energetic environment of a toddler room it used often. Our group last year LOVED their calmdown house.
We played everyday in the Big Room and are very grateful we have such a great space to get all our wiggles out even on chilly wet days!
We did get outside a little this week. The children love the open space to run, yell and climb.
We have a wide range of ages in the toddler room (from 16 to 29 months old). It is so fun to see the younger kids mirror the big kids play and the big kids help the smaller ones. We see the kids playing together either in parallel play or group play. The preschool environment is so good for their social development!
We engage the kids in a wide variety of activities but don’t always get photos of them all. Here are some pictures of the kids playing with playdough. Most chose to work on fine motor skills by threading wagon wheel noodles onto spaghetti noodles. They also squished, rolled and cut the playdough.
We have loved getting to know our new kids and hanging with all the children. It’s a great group of little people! Next week our theme will be Rosh Hashana along with apples & honey.
Ms. Katie & Ms. Hannah
**Also, a reminder to label ALL items you send to school. Especially jackets, sweatshirts, blankets, nuks. Things get moved around by little hands in the toddler room and it helps us to keep track if they are labeled. Thanks!